dinsdag 26 februari 2013

Motorcycle Landing gear

Large motorcycles are often too heavy to comfortably/safely keep upright at very low speeds or while standing, so why not add a landing gear.

 Very interesting is leg-up which allows you driving with them down, which can be seen in this youtube movie.

zaterdag 23 februari 2013

KIA Rio eco mod 2

The second version of the KIA Rio eco mod is finished.

This versions has:
- an aerodynamic nose
- a longer boattail, the vehicle is now 2m longer than the 4m original
- an aerodynamic, ie. flat smooth underbody.

Youtube movie here.
Below rendering of :
- the original (because I suspect not many know it that well),
- the 1 m longer aeromod without changing the rearwheelposition inwards and or changing the front.
- the 2 m longer aeromod, with aero-nose.

VW XL1 0,9 L car 235mpg

235 mpg, 1L per 100km,
Volkswagen claim to have designed the most economical production car ever and are now saying they will start. ? have started? production.

The car is a further development of a model they showed about 10 years ago.
The numbers they present are astounding:
- Cw = 0,186
- 1L for 111km on the standard testcircuit.
- CO2 24 g/km
- 975kg

The VW XL1 is a plug-in hydbrid with a 0,8 litre two cilinder TDI (35kW) in cooperations with a 20kW electric motor and a 7-step DSG transmission. The systems also has a lithium-ion battery-pack, which alows for a 40km electric range (which shows how small the pack is, I guestimate about 2kWh)
The electric motor is used in regenerative braking.

volkswagen website  here they write that the XL1 is built in Osnabrück and that they are arranging this factory so that the complete vehicle is built there (which is unique in the current car production methods), it is the most aerodynamic production car ever and they call it a 0,9L car!! It remains unclear when, where, at what price it is available.
In their background article, they also write that the vehicle will have a CFK (carbon fibre, prepreg)  monocoque. The use of CFK is the key in decreasing the weight of the vehicle the other dominant factor in fuel consumption.
This use of Carbon fibre prepregs and the resulting thickness brings mainstream car manufacturing close to what the bicycle streamlining guys have been doing for years.
My own motorcycle project will have to be reconsidered?

The photographs are a bit confusing as are the youtube movies of tested prototypes, dual? wingdoors.

When will it really be available?

The original 2002 test version, looking a bit more extreme. VW has been very quiet about the further development of this vehicle.

donderdag 21 februari 2013


Killinger und Freund  motorcycle of the end of the second World War, which they called "Friedenstaube" (Peace Dove) makes you think about the current motorcycle design.

Its fate is a bit unclear, trawling the internet seems to indicate that is was bought by Europeans with the intention to restore it.

Have a look at this webpage and its links.
This youtube movie.

woensdag 20 februari 2013


 Peraves claims th old word, monotracer,  for a car with a single track/trace.
After their ecomibile the Monotracer and particularly the e-tracer the winner of the X-prize set the bar for the rest.

zaterdag 16 februari 2013

Honeycomb surfboard

Mike Grobelny, mad this phantatsic cnc machined wooden honeycomb surfboard.
There is his own blog
and a blog of a fan, about the process.
and the inevitable youtube movie, with the whole process of building.

Magnetic putty

Someone enhanced our good old Silly Putty still available now at Crayola (sorry terribly infantile website)

They (simply clever toys) added some iron flakes which added amazing properties as you can see in this youtube movie.

donderdag 14 februari 2013

KIA Rio Aero

This eco modding has made me thinking what if ...
one would take a new car with good fuel efficiency and optimize the aerodynamics without going crazy.

I picked the Kia Rio and changed its rear end dramatically, still only 1.07m longer, but without changing any of its mechanics, although a narrower wheel width in the rear would be much better, now the width has to increase to include the wheels in the aerodynamic shape.
Of course the bottom of the whole vehicle is sheeted smooth.

The results can be seen below and once more in a little youtube movie of the 3d kia rio aero.

What would I stil improve :
- increase the length still more, for smoother aerodynamic exit.
- decrease the rear witdh directly aft of the driver seat by decreasing the width of the rear wheels
- mod the front, closing the openings, leaving only openings in the shape of Naca ducts which can be  opened and closed.
- mod the shape of the front a bit.
- change to electric drive.

enjoy, maybe an extremer version will follow

dinsdag 12 februari 2013

Hydrofoil Riva style

One of the shelved projects/ concepts (1998) is this hydrofoil Riva style.

Carbon fibre hull and  foils.
The Hull wood veneered to give it the old style look.
Ride height control through feeler,
propulsion through prop,
or alternatively induction engine with nozzle propellor.

Little youtube movie here.

Got to work on the concept a bit more.
Maybe later.
Need to be come a full time designer.

maandag 11 februari 2013

Rowing bicycle

Bicycle rowing, Derk Thijs,

When looking at rowing bicycles one designer seems to have really solved the problem, Derk Thijs.
The story of Derk's rowing bicycles is pretty long and started with his visually best bike. These vertical "oars" are a pleasing sight.

 Below you see the evolution, most photographs are from his own history page.

Derk has rowed some extraordinay distances (paris- rotterdam) with his bikes and also had some incredible records (45,1 km in one hour), Alpe d'Huez, tour de France one day in advance of teh peloton, built streamlines etc.

If you wonder what the performance is in moutains have a look at this youtube movie.